Migrants’ contribution to developing countries could push up near 10% of GDP

November 19, 2021
author: http://www.sela.org/en

Migration has become an essential tool to expand domestic markets in quite a few countries. The arrival of new professionals translates into economic growth and effective production systems. Even in some nations, such asset could reach 7% of the GDP.

In Mexico, for instance, while as low as 1% of the total population represents around 1.2 million migrants, they provide about 7% of the GDP. In the meantime, in those countries of the Western Hemisphere with a larger population of migrants, such as the United States and Canada, every 1% of increase of migrants contributes to 1.15% of the GDP. These data are the result of a case study entitled Immigration in Mexico – More openness, fewer barriers, sponsored by Mexican organization ¿Cómo vamos? (MCV).

Nowadays, the community of migrants in the United States accounts for 15% of the total population. In Canada, it is over 20%, that is, a contribution of 15%-21% of the GDP, according to the numbers provided in the case study.

Pedro Casas Alatriste strongly recommends the case study co-authored by him for Mexico to enlarge its systems and projects with the aim of receiving more migrants and professionals able to foster domestic development and growth.

All this should be made under the rules and regulations, which, in his view, should be relaxed for migrants to settle down and thrive in Mexico as legal residents.

“The entry of human capital is more enriching than the inflow of goods and services from foreign trade (…) For decades, Mexico has dismissed the opportunity to become a host country for migrants,” Casas said during an online forum, attended also by Axel Cabrera, the co-author.

To substantiate their theory, they took as baseline a research study of NGO Endavour, according to which 31% out of the 204 startups in Mexico City were owned by foreigners, leading to 9,800 new jobs and yielding over US$1.7 billion.

Developing countries face many challenges if they are to sum these talents to their domestic economies and labour markets. Sofía Aguilar, the CEO of MCV, listed some of them: “migration laws, discrimination, education, insertion in the formal labour market, and seed capital.”


“Mexico should offer a status of legal resident in all instances, not only temporary stay,” said Ramírez at the end of the forum.

Key topics: pymes